A workshop summary

Wax and Gold, a project developed and designed by Netsa Art village and funded by the Prince Claus Fund; is designed to merge and accommodate the Historical ‘Wax and Gold’, an approach which is an under-cover way of communication, a strong expression in Ethiopian literature called “Qinie” a system where people pass the main message, the ‘Gold’ covered with the ‘Wax’. And this approach is well known for it’s less problematic and threat, but robust for making changes.

Artists from the Netsa Art Village and some other artists individually are struggling between making art for a living, and are trying to make their voices to be heard by the community through their art works. Art and activism has been tried by a few artists where the artists make artworks out in the public spaces and open themselves for discussions. After the establishment of the Village, there has been projects conducted by the group in an inventive approach and make the voices of children, young, and adult Ethiopian been at least communicated through workshops, discussions, and literature and music events. But most of the activities have been taking place either in the Art Village Compound or in some other venues for the Arts. After 5 years of brawl and movements to create an environment where Artists can produce their work of Art and a living Art space.

Most Artists from the Netsa Art Village and out in the city, Addis Ababa have an aspiration to start/continue/change the means of communication from Studio based two or three dimensional Artworks, in to a form where they address the community and the spaces directly. And in quest of freedom to realize a community Art projects and site specific and or public space Art projects, ‘Wax and Gold’ is a small uprising to hearten Artists with interests to engage themselves in participatory Artworks out with the community. And this will happen through sharing information by Experts on local and international laws regarding Freedom of Expression, Experience sharing with local and international professionals with rich experiences with the subject matter and additionally, presentations, discussion and practice based Experience sharing with Artists from the Continent, Africa to smoothen and own practice based strategies for questions that comes from the Government bodies while committing the Activity in the public space, and communicate the community without revealing oneself for difficulties like Jail and torture.

Wax and Gold is intended to create an environment where Artists can have a courage and strategy in the form of

- Re-Introducing the public space for Artists as living venue to produce a body of Art work in the public space, with the public.

- Enjoying and Producing a Work of Art with dual meanings which usually is understandable and beloved by the community who have the background on Wax and Gold in order to reduce the risks and consequence while having an interaction with the community. This is because the government body is not happy with any unusual activity which contradicts the day to day activity of specific locations.

For the Workshop Wax and gold, 15 Artists from Ethiopia will be participating through an open call for Participation and be part of the 15 days workshop.

For intensive three days, a mix of Professionals from local and abroad will be giving presentations and have discussions with Artists in the context of Ethiopian, African and Global realities and situations regarding to freedom of Expression and Censorship. And they are, Bekele Mekonnen (Assistant professor at Alle School of Fine Arts and Design, AAU, Poet), Joanna Warsza (Curator, Berlin Biennale), Berhanu Ashagrie (Visual Artist, Director of Alle School of Fine Arts and Design), Paulin Burman (African Art Expert from Tami Mnyele foundation, Netherlands),Elizabeth W/Giorgis PhD (Art Historian and academic), Julia Farrington (Head of Arts, Index on Censorship), Meskerem Asseguid (anthropologist, and founding Director of Zoma Contemporary Art Center), Ephrem Berhanu (Activist, Managing director, talent Youth Association)

And also Julia, Pauline and Joanna will have a portfolio review with the participating Artists.

Five young Artists, Boniface Mwangi (Kenyan Artist/Activist), Jelili Atiku (Nigerian Artist/Activist), Peterson Kamawathi (Kenyan Artist/Activist), Zenzele Chulu (Zambian Artist/Activist), Ayman Ramadan (Egyptian Artist/Activist) Will present, share experience and produce a work of art with Ethiopian Artists for the practice based communication which will lead to a collective Art Exhibition based on the site specific and or community art projects as a final output of the Workshop.







is a membership organization which exists to stimulate the quality, development and context for contemporary art practice in Ethiopia. We aim to broaden the constituency for contemporary art in a global environment by initiating and facilitating professional networking and communication, a dynamic exchange of information and presentations of examples of good practice. It is founded on a willingness to work together to identify and pool resources, meeting challenges with efficient channels of communication, collective problem-solving, and sharing knowledge and experience.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 09 July 2013 15:11)

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